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Further Education

Further education

Further Education is a powerhouse of skills and learning in the UK, providing opportunities for 2.2m young people and adults every year. Students trained in FE colleges generate a Gross Value-Added (GVA) each year work more than £70bn for the UK economy (Source: Association of Colleges).

In this dynamic and changing sector, libraries and information services are playing an increasingly diverse range of roles, supporting teaching and learning, improving the student experience, helping students develop information and digital skills and providing space for study – whether alone or in collaborative groups.

CILIP is proud to unite, support and represent professional librarians and other information professionals working in Further Education. Our aim is to work with the profession and sector partners to secure recognition of the role of our professional skills in delivering world-class FE training and teaching.

Delivering successful learning journeys

In 2016, CILIP led a project to develop a new advocacy framework for information professionals in Further Education. Titled FE Librarians deliver successful learning journeys, we found evidence to show that:

  • FE librarians help improve retention of students, for example by providing safe, creative and inclusive learning spaces
  • FE librarians enrich teaching, enabling better and more flexible learning experiences, for example by supporting technology enhanced learning
  • FE librarians are often connectors, creating opportunities for new partnerships within and beyond the institution
  • FE librarians have a proven positive impact literacy and the reading culture in the college, particularly in terms of reading for pleasure
  • By supporting the development of key skills such as information and digital skills, FE libraries improve attainment, grades and progression, and ultimately leading to improved employability for students

Download the Advocacy Framework for FE Librarians

What do FE librarians & information professionals do?

Librarians and information professionals in Further Education undertake a huge range of activities, depending on the needs of their college, students and staff. Examples include:

  • Providing services around Prevent and safeguarding
  • Supporting eSafety for students and staff
  • Personal and Social Development
  • Supporting University applications
  • Managing licenses
  • Creating new teaching and learning resources
  • Providing extended support for English and Maths
  • Selling stationery
  • Developing VLE and e-learning resources

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